The Village of Great Neck Plaza is in the midst of a process to consider rezoning of the downtown area, with the hope that new zoning codes could work towards revitalizing the village’s business district. For the past year Plaza Mayor Jean Celender and the board of trustees have been reviewing the B Business District zoning regulations with the “view toward updating our code,” the mayor told the Great Neck Record.
The village hired the professional planning consulting firm of Cameron Engineering & Associates and last month one of the Cameron consultants, Robert Svadlenka, AICP, made a presentation at a board of trustees meeting. Mr. Svadlenka discussed results of the consultants’ research and suggested alternate zoning options for this business district.
At the conclusion of a three-hour public hearing last Wednesday afternoon, the Town of North Hempstead’s Board of Zoning Appeals directed the library board and its consultants to revise the parking plan for the proposed library expansion to at least keep the present number of on-site parking spaces and strongly suggested that they consider off-site parking for staff to increase on-site parking for patrons. Since the total parking needs hinge on the ability of the library to use Bayview Avenue for overflow parking, the agreement between the library board and the Village of Saddle Rock is key. Further, the four-member board reviewing the application advised the library board to “add clarity” and understand their agreement with the Village of Saddle Rock regarding parking on Bayview Avenue because any infringement of the agreement would, according to the testimony of Mayor Leonard Samansky, lead to “no parking on Bayview.” Zoning board member Paul Aloe said, “Since this is in the public interest...and would have value in the case record... you would be well served to have a document that is as clear as possible.”
Although it was sad to see the trees, irreparably damaged during this summer’s rampaging storm, felled in the Village Green last week, it was uplifting to see new trees being planted to provide shade, majesty and beauty for all to enjoy in the coming years. Park district commissioners Ruth Tamarin, Robert Lincoln and Ivar Segalowitz have been consulting with Gibney Design Landscape Architecture PC and the public to arrive at a two-stage plan to bring new life to the beloved park.
Hosting his annual holiday party at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, recently re-elected Congressman Gary Ackerman addressed the large crowd of local government officials, reminding one and all that “We are our brother’s keeper.” Focusing on President Barack Obama’s proposed tax cuts and the strong objections of many Democrats, including the congressman, Rep. Ackerman said that the issue is not about Democrats and Republicans, but about values, about the future.
Rep. Ackerman stated that though he feels “strongly about the separation of church and state,” it is certainly right to bring political values to holiday celebrations. It was “not religious beliefs” that ran through the congressman’s words, but “values … values that go back to all houses of worship … values to fight for …” The congressman explained that he was speaking of the values of affording shelter, food, and clothing for all.
An eager crowd turned up for the grand opening and celebration of the new location for the Station Branch library. Many of the patrons expressed something akin to awe remarking, “How spacious! How open it feels.” The staff of Station, a very busy branch, managed their best in cramped spaces, but now, they too are marveling at the flexibility and programming possibilities that the new space affords. Throughout the months in the making of the transformation, board members have expressed their satisfaction with the services of architect Ron Zakary.
The first step in a full-scale study of the possible negative environmental impacts of the proposal to sub-divide 11 lots on a land-locked 3.104-acre parcel between Clover Drive in Great Neck Estates and Old Mill Road in the Old Village has been taken. Egress to the proposed development, that would be primarily located in the Village of Great Neck, would be through Great Neck Estates. Developer Frank Lalezarian presented a document to the Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning Appeals in which he outlines the various categories to be studied by his consultants. The process of “scoping” under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) is basically an outline of the areas of concern to be addressed in a full-blown draft environmental impact study (DEIS).
Artist Gladys Thompson Roth, who may be best known in Great Neck for her leadership at Womanspace, is delighted that a retrospective of her work as a sculptor will be on exhibit at the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery starting today and running through the month of February 2011. The exhibit, entitled A Journey in Stone and Wood, will highlight her progression from her early works in clay from 1985 and her passage into stone and wood up to the present.
With the 2009-2010 school year being the first year of full-day kindergarten in the Great Neck School District, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Kelly Newman presented a review of the new program at the Nov. 15 Board of Education meeting. Prior to this, since 1971 the school district had offered a Kindergarten program including full days and part-days; this program had included small group sessions on specific days each week.
Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, who has tenaciously worked to restore Udall’s Pond to a healthy water body, is most pleased to learn that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a permit that gives their stamp of approval for the dredging of Udall’s Pond, a crucial project for the peninsula. The project has been reviewed by the DEC division of tidal wetlands who determine the most environmentally prudent way to dispose of the dredged material.
At a special informational meeting at Great Neck House last Wednesday evening, Nov. 17, Village of Great Neck officials and consultants explained the Old Village’s new property reassessment and answered audience questions. Consultants from appraisal firms Standard Valuation Services and Michael Haberman Associates, Inc. joined Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman, Deputy Mayor Mitchell Beckerman, trustees Mark Birnbaum and Bart Sobel, and village assessor John Dominsky in helping residents make sense of what the mayor termed “a very confusing topic.”
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